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Lions will give their young guns a run

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Some of the newly acquired players at the Lions, like hooker Jan-Henning Campher and prop Frans van Wyk, will run out at Loftus this weekend

Wandisile Simelane will be running out for the Lions against the Bulls tomorrow, hoping to impress his coach. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

CURRIE Cup and former SA Under-21 star Wandisile Simelane will be one of the young players out to impress coach Swys de Bruin when the Lions run out against the Bulls in a Super Rugby pre-season game in Pretoria tomorrow. De Bruin has opted to look at a number of young Lions stars when they clash with their northern neighbours at the Loftus Versfeld B field at 3pm.

Joining wing Simelane in the young Lions outfit are the likes of Manny Rass, Tyrone Green, Gianni Lombard, Vincent Tshituka, Rhyno Herbst, Asenathi Ntlabakanye and Nathan McBeth. They, along with the other young guns in the squad, will all be looking to make an impression on De Bruin before the coach finalises his final Super Rugby squad in about 10 days’ time.

De Bruin has rested the majority of his senior players for this weekend’s trip up the N1, stating he will only push the likes of Kwagga Smith, Malcolm Marx, Warren Whiteley, Elton Jantjies, Harold Vorster, Aphiwe Dyantyi and Courtnall Skosan into action next week when the Lions face the Sharks in the Superheroes Day in Cape Town on February 3.

And then De Bruin will only play those players for 40 minutes.

“A lot of guys are still coming back from injury and the guys who played in Japan in the off season (like Smith, Vorster and Ruan Combrinck) have had additional time off,” said De Bruin recently.

It is also expected that the likes of formerly injured players like Ross Cronjé, Andries Ferreira, Cyle Brink and Lionel Mapoe will only return when the competition proper gets under way in the middle of next month.

The Lions’ first international game is against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in the middle of February.

Some of the newly acquired players at the Lions, like hooker Jan-Henning Campher and prop Frans van Wyk, will run out at Loftus this weekend. The team will be led by experienced utility back Sylvian Mahuza, who’ll don the No 15 jersey.